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Omaha Magazine

Designing Change

Jul 21, 2023 01:54PM ● By Sara Locke
Davielle Phillips Designing Change Architect Davielle Phillips is laying the foundation for a more equitable Omaha

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

Although Davielle Phillips has the talent and opportunity to utilize his education, experience, and creativity anywhere in the world, the young architectural designer is bestowing his gifts on Omaha. 

Born and raised in Chicago’s South Side, Phillips recognized early on that the design of his city’s neighborhoods depended largely on the prosperity of its inhabitants. His passion for creating a more equitable, beautiful future took root, and by 2019 the young professional had achieved a Master of Architecture and a Master of Business Administration from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He quickly found a home with Holland Basham Architects.

“Being in the architecture profession, I get to learn early on about projects being planned in Omaha,” Phillips said. “Omaha is a really good fit for me. I get to mix my architecture and business education with my passion for giving back. There are so many opportunities for everyone to get involved and to make impactful changes.”

That desire to find an outlet for his philanthropic spirit yielded a conversation with Tim Holland, founding principal at Holland Basham. 

“Tim was involved with the Boys & Girls Club when he was a kid, and talked about how much he loved the opportunities he found through that involvement,” Phillips recalled. “I told him how passionate I was about the work the club was doing and asked if there was a way for me to get involved. Later that week he approached me about the Programs Committee.”

Phillips is currently serving as the architectural designer on the new Micah House emergency housing and early childhood educational facility. He is also using his time to share his experiences with the children at local elementary schools, at Rubicon Academy at The Hope Center for Kids, and at UNL’s National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMAS). 

“I met the right people and told them I wanted to be involved. That was all it took…being vocal about what I had to give,” he said. “I see myself becoming an educator in the future, and I take every opportunity I can to be part of things I’m passionate about.”

That drive hasn’t gone unnoticed by Holland Basham’s senior staff. Managing Principal Curt Witzenburg’s admiration for Phillips is palpable as he discusses the young leader’s place within the company.

“The firm was initially built on the roots of giving back through time and talent,” Witzenburg recalled. “It was a key part of how the business was to interact with the community. We create opportunities for our staff to get involved, and to foster that support, but Davielle came here having already established himself within the community in just his first few years attending college.  

“So many people are afraid to put themselves out there, especially when they’re new to an area. But Davielle is consistently crossing that barrier finding ways to connect, to pull resources together to make Omaha a more robust place to live and work. We encourage that and offered him internal training programs to provide increased focus and help him achieve his goals at a higher rate, but that mindset was already instilled in him. He truly is a future leader, building his personal brand of service and impact, and we are grateful to be part of his process.”

Phillips’ integrity, drive, and commitment to the community are all being recognized. He has been featured in Beyond the Built Environment’s Say It Loud exhibition and was awarded the 2023 Change Makers Award by Omaha’s Young Professionals Summit.

His personal and professional missions are working together to make Omaha a place where young professionals are proud to live, work, and serve. 

Visit for more information. Visit for more information on Phillips and other young community leaders.

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2023 issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.


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